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Now that Project $15k has a healthy dose of power it's time to put some focus on the suspension and brakes.

Starting with a car that has 110k miles on it probably means it has the original struts holding things together but not playing a big part in the suspension game any more. We found this to be the case as they where worn out, rusty and leaking. The springs have been changed in the past with some cool looking orange units. Since we liked the ride height we will continue using these springs in the build to save some cost in that department.

So all that had to be done was swap in the new struts and clean things up a bit. We started in the rear and found that one of the last owners put in 2006 model WRX lowering springs, we know this because they also put in 2006 model strut tops. This is not a necessary thing but it does give us fresh rubber in the strut top bushing, a good thing. The installation of the struts was very easy and straight forward. One benefit we got from replacing the struts and doing some cleaning was that the car lost about 5lbs of dirt! Not kidding, once I was done I swept the dirt into a big pile to take a picture but before I could my shop guys swept it up (dam clean freaks!)

The struts we chose are Tokico Spec D. We chose these as a comprimise of price and performance. This was a $10k car and I dont see the need to put 10%-15% of the vehicles value into struts, but they where still the second most expensive modification. ($530.00)

"TOKICO€™s D-Spec Series adjustable shock is a multi-use product that€™s the result of sophisticated piston and valving design. In addition, it utilizes a unique variable-aperture bypass, which is controlled by an adjustable slide valve.

D-Spec (damping specific) adjustments change both rebound and compression damping simultaneously. Between maximum soft and hard settings, the D-Spec is infinitely adjustable. For more information and to view the damping graph full size, click here.

D-Spec shocks and struts are sold in sets of four. Each set includes a manual explaining the adjustment process as well as covering suspension tuning tips."


I could have gotten away with just a thorough bleed job and a good brake pad but the original brake lines where probably getting a little worn by the elements and getting soft or brittle and the rotors where showing some wear grooves and the center hats where rusty.

I went ahead and installed new StopTech replacement slotted rotors that look cool with the black painted center hats, StopTech SS lines and Axxis Ultimate Brake Pads. For brake fluid I just chose Prestone DOT4/DOT3 as again this is a budget build that will mostly see street driving so an expensive racing fluid is not needed.

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